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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tents For Pakistan -- Give Them a Shelter


Glen-Paul Amick is a graduated student in the Department of Journalism at University of Montana. He read my article "What sentence can we give to the survivors of earthquake: Life or Death?" two days ago. He immediately called friends and faculty at UMT and set up an organization "Tents for Pakistan (TFP)." He opened a bank account same day for collecting funds. By evening he was able to rely news releases on local TV, Radio, and print media about TFP's fund raising (being journalism major it did help). He is also going to send a Radio feed from his department which will be broadcasted
on all Radio Stations in USA for tent donations.

The idea was to get tents, sleeping bags, jackets, sweaters, medicines and funds for two days outside university's annual SOS skiing fair and garage sale on Nov 5 and 6, 2005. Every year university's outdoor program holds an annual skiing fair and sale right before the skiing season starts. People bring in their almost new shoes, skis, poles, snowboards, sleeping bags, blankets, jackets, sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, for sale. Idea was great so I immediately made some new posters for "Tents for Pakistan". The response is great. See the pile we collected on Sat morning in three hrs. As soon as people coming to SOS fair learned about TFP they went back and brought some more stuff for donations. Many people who brought their stuff for sale in fact decided to donate for good cause. We have collected almost new Tents, Blankets, Sub zero temp sleeping bags (that can be worn like quilt as well), Jackets, Parkas, duck downs etc. One guy has brought a big two room tent. He says that one room is designed for kitchen.

The UMT students have made friends with visiting Pakistanis. For last three years University of Montana (UMT) has received and trained three groups of 40-45 primary school teachers from Pakistan in their six months training program in education and teaching sponsored by USAID. Many trainees were from earthquake affected areas. Paul says that he feels a responsibility to reach out and help because UMT has made friends with teachers from Pakistan.

Please note: If anyone wants to donate tents or fiber glass houses they can buy it from http://www.armytents.com and fiber glass houses from http://www.kind-hearts.org
You can ship these tents and houses to PIA for air lift; for more info check Pakistan embassy's website. They have worked out a procedure for PIA to airlift things out of NY, Chicago, and Houston. You have to deliver things to PIA in NY, Chicago, and Houston. Do not forget to complete a disclosure form.
This guy donated a large two room tent with kitchen area.

Update (4:50 pm): I just sent back to get update. By 4:30 pm we have collected lot of camps, blankets, quilts, warm jackets, and pledges for more stuff that people have promised to bring tomorrow. Among these we have seven (7) big two room tents that can house an entire family and set up a kitchen as well.

Also Related in NY Times.

Give them Shelter

THE earthquake in Pakistan has left millions homeless. Umar Ghuman, Pakistan's minister of foreign investment and a longtime customer of my foundry supply company, has asked me to help find housing for as many of these people as possible before the onset of winter in the next few days.Tents are not protection enough, and conventional prefabricated houses are neither readily available nor easy to ship. The solution, then, is to think of something less conventional, like the work shed-greenhouse combinations sold at Sam's Club and other retailers. Such sheds - small (882 cubic feet), plastic, weather-tight, insulated and portable - retail for around $2,000. Two hundred thousand of these houses - temporary homes for a million people - would cost
less than $400 million.These sheds come in sections, such that a C5-A military cargo plane could fit hundreds of units on a single flight. The manufacturer can produce nearly 20,000 units per month, but additional new machinery could be developed promptly to speed up production. Although there are many garden structures to choose from, the one that combines both shelter and greenhouse functions is manufactured in Winfield, Kan. "


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